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Anyone else noticed that the published cruise line fares have increased dramatically?


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I had a couple of cruises cancelled.  One on Princess and one on celebrity.  The same cruise on a different date has gone up somewhat on Princess.  On Celebrity the cruise has doubled.  The next date was always modestly higher but now the same itinerary has doubled.  Obviously the cruise lines have found that with people taking future cruise credits, the way to diminish their value is to increase the prices.  I suspect they may be surprised when many of these ships don't fill. 

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They expect the demand to start high rocketing. Dont think that if you are canceling there wont be someone else to take your place. When the whole situation settles down, people will rush to book their seats. The companies who suffer losses at the moment, plan to make them up with 2021 cruises. So, just saying - its a totally normal situation 

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Supply and demand. With so many sailing cancelations, the supply will be considerably less. The cruise lines are most likely hoping that it will translate into higher demand for the fewer cruises available. If it doesn’t happen, expect prices to drop considerably as sailing date approaches. 

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I think these increases will be temporary. Right now the demand is inflated by people with FCC rushing to book a replacement cruise. But we are heading into a global recession and once the FCC booking madness dies down and people are booking with new dollars they will have to reduce prices. I think many many many people who planned to take a vacation this year will no longer be due to layoffs/salary cuts/ reduced investments. They will have to drop prices to entice people to book.

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Its a blatant scam. Everybody I know that had cruises booked then cancelled, have demanded their money back. Don't see any rush to collect FCC vouchers. Those who have taken vouchers are waking up to this scam. Cruise lines are desperate to get people to fall for this, with their 125%, 150% offers, but people are waking up to this shameless rip off. Those vouchers offer nothing as you will have to pay more to book the same cruise even with the percentage increase.  

Cruise lines are shamelessly acting like dodgy politicians, they have dug the hole and they continue to dig deeper, the hole will eventually collapse around them. They are treating their customer base as idiots, and it will come back to bite them. It always does.

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Its not so much that prices have increased in anticipation of more demand.  I get it; that’s business.  What is not business is using a nonexistent increased value to entice someone to take FCC instead of cash.  Giving 120% of what I paid, then not only not providing an additional 20% value to me, but just going about their business without any consideration for my having offered them my business in exchange for +20% value is just two-faced.  I’d have respected them more if they would have just offered refunds.  

 

Unfortunately, I think the hole they have dug began long before this crisis in the form of debt.  I also do not believe there will be any cruises departing from the U.S before there is an effective vaccine for Covid-19.  And if there is a Covid-20 it will be the proverbial nail in their debt-ridden coffins.  

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Of course a full cash refund would be preferable to a future credit - but cruise lines, like almost everyone else, spend money as it comes in.  They do not set aside down payments until the date of the purchased cruise.  They simply do not have the cash reserves to pay cash refunds.

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1 hour ago, navybankerteacher said:

Of course a full cash refund would be preferable to a future credit - but cruise lines, like almost everyone else, spend money as it comes in.  They do not set aside down payments until the date of the purchased cruise.  They simply do not have the cash reserves to pay cash refunds.

While I'm not saying that all the cruise lines that do business in the US may actually be in compliance, recognize that the US Federal Maritime Commission requires them to have enough assets to cover necessary passenger refunds.

 

BTW, one of the reasons we're glad that our preferred line is Oceania is that, for our upcoming May cruise, O's cancellation came with a 100% refund AND a 25% FCC provided within a week of the early March cancellation.

Of course, that was somewhat early in this whole mess (we also got a 50% refund and 25% FCC for a February cruise we completed though with a highly modified Indian Ocean itinerary.

Edited by Flatbush Flyer
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3 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

cruise lines, like almost everyone else, spend money as it comes in.  They do not set aside down payments until the date of the purchased cruise.  They simply do not have the cash reserves to pay cash refunds.

 

The problem I see is that they will only be pulling in some small percentage of normal revenue until all thr FCCs are used up. If they were smart, they would make them good for, say, 3 years after full cruising begins again. Draw out the usage over time to generate customer loyalty and encourage new cash bookings.

 

Heck, let people who book new cruises with cash trade in part of their FCCs and receive OBC (usable, say, at $300 per cruise) and points. Something imaginative to reduce the FCC confusion and negative feelings.

Edited by mayleeman
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4 minutes ago, mayleeman said:

 

The problem I see is that they will only be pulling in some small percentage of normal revenue until all thr FCCs are used up. If they were smart, they would make them good for, say, 3 years after full cruising begins again. Draw out the usage over time to generate customer loyalty and encourage new cash bookings.

 

Heck, let people who book new cruises with cash trade in part of their FCCs and receive OBC (usable, say, at $300 per cruise) and points. Something imaginative to reduce the FCC confusion and negative feelings.

Good suggestions. It would encourage (very profitable for the lines) more on-board spending by giving OBC vs. cash — while making customers feel the lines were being flexible/helpful.

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On 4/6/2020 at 12:07 PM, mayleeman said:

Heck, let people who book new cruises with cash trade in part of their FCCs and receive OBC (usable, say, at $300 per cruise) and points. Something imaginative to reduce the FCC confusion and negative feelings.

 

This would have been an amazing option IMO! I had the choice between a full refund or 100%+$600 OBC. As a I paid about 1/2 the fare in gift cards, no point in taking the full refund. Ended up booking a 14 day (vs my 12) Panama Canal partial for only $500 more in the exact same room (same class of ship) because it was use it or loose it. 

 

Now.. if I could have split up that $? I probably would have booked 2 cruises of 8-10 days with 1/2 refund, 1/2 cash. As it is, for the new booking they will be getting $500 out of us. We will have a total of $1050 OBC and have $550 in gift cards I was using for the old cruise hanging out to pay it off. Don't really drink, can't spend the $ on ship excursions (which out of 8 ports we might do 2 because of distance/circumstances so would have to book those in advance anyways), have to book the chef's tablet before hand (can't use OBC so it will come out of gift cards already purchased..) So the OBC will be used for coffee's, specialty restaurant 1 or 2 times and that is about it and the rest used in the casino (aka put in and cashed out eventually) 

 

Splitting it up between 2 would have gotten a lot of more $ out of me in the long run. 

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Maybe cruise lines are anticipating the coming inflation?

 

All countries are spending huge sums of money they can ill afford.
The result will be inflation, and your crappy-value dollar

being even-more-crappy-value? Just sayin!! 

 

Interesting graphics below for your perusal.

 

Inflation -SAYS IT ALL.jpg

Inflation since 1913.jpg

Inflation-2.jpg

Inflation-22.jpeg

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  • 5 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

My friend in CA sent me an email from Holland America offering FREE interior staterooms.  FREE. I received my email from HAL today and nowhere am I offered a FREE cabin.... In fact, looking at just 2 of the sailings, I see the following prices:

N. Amsterdam March 21, 11 days out of FLL

Her: inside FREE           Mine $899

Her ocean view $399     Mine $999

Her verandah $599         Mine $1089

Her signature $1099       Mine $1899

Her Neptune  $1599        Mine $2599

 

Koningsdam, 1/2/21, 7 days out of San Diego..7 days

Her inside FREE!!!       Mine $899

Her ocean view $149  Mine $1099

Her verandah $249      Mine $1149

Her signature $799     Mine $2249

Her neptune $1099     Mine $2749

What am I missing? Has anyone else experienced this outrageous disparity with their pricing? What's going on with HAL? I'm not new to this rodeo, I'm a 4 star Mariner and still don't quite understand.   Thanks.

Edited by serenityj1
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28 minutes ago, serenityj1 said:

My friend in CA sent me an email from Holland America offering FREE interior staterooms.  FREE. I received my email from HAL today and nowhere am I offered a FREE cabin.... In fact, looking at just 2 of the sailings, I see the following prices:

N. Amsterdam March 21, 11 days out of FLL

Her: inside FREE           Mine $899

Her ocean view $399     Mine $999

Her verandah $599         Mine $1089

Her signature $1099       Mine $1899

Her Neptune  $1599        Mine $2599

 

Koningsdam, 1/2/21, 7 days out of San Diego..7 days

Her inside FREE!!!       Mine $899

Her ocean view $149  Mine $1099

Her verandah $249      Mine $1149

Her signature $799     Mine $2249

Her neptune $1099     Mine $2749

What am I missing? Has anyone else experienced this outrageous disparity with their pricing? What's going on with HAL? I'm not new to this rodeo, I'm a 4 star Mariner and still don't quite understand.   Thanks.

All sorts of companies target states like California (and New York) and key metro area zipcodes within those states for marketing blitzes. We occasionally get "special pricing" deals for Californians (e.g., United Airlines even has some admin officer with a focus on California).

OR- maybe it's their attempt at a Thank You to San Diego folks letting their ship dock there after the fiasco that was their Hawaii Covid cruise.

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Thank you. This makes sense, esp when you referenced San Diego and their allowing our ships to dock during the multiple fiascos. I appreciate your explanation.  I am calm.

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59 minutes ago, serenityj1 said:

My friend in CA sent me an email from Holland America offering FREE interior staterooms.  FREE. I received my email from HAL today and nowhere am I offered a FREE cabin.... In fact, looking at just 2 of the sailings, I see the following prices:

N. Amsterdam March 21, 11 days out of FLL

Her: inside FREE           Mine $899

Her ocean view $399     Mine $999

Her verandah $599         Mine $1089

Her signature $1099       Mine $1899

Her Neptune  $1599        Mine $2599

 

Koningsdam, 1/2/21, 7 days out of San Diego..7 days

Her inside FREE!!!       Mine $899

Her ocean view $149  Mine $1099

Her verandah $249      Mine $1149

Her signature $799     Mine $2249

Her neptune $1099     Mine $2749

What am I missing? Has anyone else experienced this outrageous disparity with their pricing? What's going on with HAL? I'm not new to this rodeo, I'm a 4 star Mariner and still don't quite understand.   Thanks.

What don’t you understand?  That the cruise lines know how to sell to their market? Do you really believe she would ACTUALLY get a FREE cabin - even inside?    But, yes, targeted marketing does happen.  Advertising dollars spent get balanced against expected revenue generated.  They probably believe that folks in Arizona are GOING to cruise if they are inclined to do it— and they probably think that folks in California are more bargain-oriented - and need to be sold.

 

At the end of the day there are a lot of people who get swayed by catchy ads — look at all the posters on NCL threads who talk about getting “FREE” drinks.

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On 4/6/2020 at 8:03 AM, gerryuk said:

Its a blatant scam. Everybody I know that had cruises booked then cancelled, have demanded their money back. Don't see any rush to collect FCC vouchers. Those who have taken vouchers are waking up to this scam. Cruise lines are desperate to get people to fall for this, with their 125%, 150% offers, but people are waking up to this shameless rip off. Those vouchers offer nothing as you will have to pay more to book the same cruise even with the percentage increase.  

Cruise lines are shamelessly acting like dodgy politicians, they have dug the hole and they continue to dig deeper, the hole will eventually collapse around them. They are treating their customer base as idiots, and it will come back to bite them. It always does.

 

Everything that doesn't go the customer's way must be a scam. With cruises being halted for months, people itching to go again when it is deemed "safe", and companies currently bleeding money, supply has went down, demand went up. If you expected prices to go anywhere but up, I don't know what to tell you.

 

Everyone is so smart because an increase in FCC may not pay for certain future fares. Guess what also doesn't pay for it? A refund of your original price. You are not entitled to any price. You have the full ability to see what current prices are before you accept a FCC.

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1 hour ago, Joebucks said:

 

Everything that doesn't go the customer's way must be a scam. With cruises being halted for months, people itching to go again when it is deemed "safe", and companies currently bleeding money, supply has went down, demand went up. If you expected prices to go anywhere but up, I don't know what to tell you.

 

Everyone is so smart because an increase in FCC may not pay for certain future fares. Guess what also doesn't pay for it? A refund of your original price. You are not entitled to any price. You have the full ability to see what current prices are before you accept a FCC.

So you go into a car dealership, hand over $20,000 for a new car, the dealer tells you the new car will be available to pick up in 6 weeks time. Six weeks later the dealer calls you and informs you that there are problems on the production line and they cannot get you, your new car delivered on time. He then informs you that your new car will be available in another 6 weeks, however the price has gone up by another $10,000. But to help you out and sweeten the deal, he will give you a voucher worth $1000 and throw in some cleaning products free of charge, all you now have to pay is another $9000 to make up the difference. He then informs you that if you want your money back it could take anything up to 6 months to process. If it smells like a scam, its a scam.

 

 

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51 minutes ago, gerryuk said:

....Six weeks later the dealer calls you and informs you that there are problems on the production line and they cannot get you, your new car delivered on time. He then informs you that your new car will be available in another 6 weeks, however the price has gone up by another $10,000. .....

Not sure where you live but, in California, that original car purchase contract is THE contract. Even with production delays, the price to which you and the dealer agreed to is the price. Of course, if the dealership wanted to compensate you for the inconvenience, it could give you all sorts of stuff or even money (but never require a higher vehicle purchase price for the car as originally equipped/ordered).

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On 4/6/2020 at 3:52 AM, Longwood50 said:

I had a couple of cruises cancelled.  One on Princess and one on celebrity.  The same cruise on a different date has gone up somewhat on Princess.  On Celebrity the cruise has doubled.  The next date was always modestly higher but now the same itinerary has doubled.  Obviously the cruise lines have found that with people taking future cruise credits, the way to diminish their value is to increase the prices.  I suspect they may be surprised when many of these ships don't fill. 

I/we got one he!! of a deal on our November cruise. Then last week we were notified it was cancelled, when we book another cruise with the same line I do not expect them to offer us the same deal. As they say in London, " it is what it is"

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On 5/9/2020 at 10:46 AM, gerryuk said:

So you go into a car dealership, hand over $20,000 for a new car, the dealer tells you the new car will be available to pick up in 6 weeks time. Six weeks later the dealer calls you and informs you that there are problems on the production line and they cannot get you, your new car delivered on time. He then informs you that your new car will be available in another 6 weeks, however the price has gone up by another $10,000. But to help you out and sweeten the deal, he will give you a voucher worth $1000 and throw in some cleaning products free of charge, all you now have to pay is another $9000 to make up the difference. He then informs you that if you want your money back it could take anything up to 6 months to process. If it smells like a scam, its a scam.

 

 

 

This is a poor comparison. Once you buy, that is your price. If you buy something and then you are told you owe more, I will grab the pitchfork and stand by your side.

 

A better comparison is you want to buy a car. (Insert reason X why you can't buy when you want) and the cost of the car goes up. You feel entitled to the original price because "that's what it was". Doesn't matter. The price is the price.

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Posted (edited)

 

Back on topic:   while it is to be expected that the first cruises to start up will be priced very low as a necessary incentive to lure people back;  it must be expected that later cruises are likely to be priced significantly higher to cover the almost unavoidable increases in operating costs to address new health initiatives - while likely simultaneously dealing with reduced passenger loads reflecting social distancing.

 

There is likely to be a “flip date” - after which sailings will be priced significantly higher.

Edited by navybankerteacher
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